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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10547
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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I dealt with a patient who was (is) diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

Customer Question

Hello, I dealt with a patient who was (is) diagnosed with Schizophrenia. However, he did have an issue with his doctor. His official diagnoses in Schizophrenia, but he called him a psychopath, and I am certain that some of the other information he revealed about him was not legal. Is it appropriate to disclose information about a patient if it is thought that he is psychopath. I will add that the patient is not violent, he is preparing to Graduate college, so I am fairly certain that he is intelligent, even though the doctor wrote in his notes that he couldn't read. We hear him real aloud and we do not think that is true. He has spoken Spanish with me a few times so he does have the capacity to learn languages. Some of the evaluations of the doctor are at odds with my personal experience. Also, I think the patient is aware the doctor is breaking his privacy. Is it appropriate for a doctor to disclose this information because he thinks that the patient is a psychopath, which again we are not certain of and find unlikely.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.
*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum.
Hello, I believe I can help you with your question. First off Schizophrenia and Psychopathy are very different, so I am not sure why his doctor stated that he was a "Psychopath," based on what you are telling me. And even if this individual was a "Psychopath" the doctor cannot break confidentiality at all. The only times a doctor can break confidentiality is if he/she feels that the patient is a danger to himself or others, suspects there is child abuse, or suspects there is elder abuse. At no other point can the doctor willfully break confidentiality and violate the patient's right to privacy. So in this instance what the doctor did was unethical and can be held legally accountable.
I hope that answers your question on this matter and gives you some guidance on how to proceed with it.
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